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Gratitude and its drivers within higher education

Fiona Cownie

Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 2017, vol. 27, issue 2, 290-308

Abstract: This paper proposes that gratitude has a place in enabling us to understand students’ experiences of higher education, and this has an implication for higher education (HE) marketing. This research examines the evidence for and focus of gratitude within the context of an undergraduate course with high levels of student satisfaction. It finds that final-year students report feelings of gratitude and that students report that those feelings of gratitude are at their height within the final year. This exploratory research proposes that feelings of gratitude are driven by four factors: helping behaviors; care; perceived effort; and environment. For HE marketers, this suggests that there is merit in placing emphasis on academic-student interactions at the heart of marketing strategies, including branding strategies, open day events, marketing communications and social media content. There are clear opportunities for academics and marketing departments to benefit from the intention to give back that is central to the notion of gratitude.

Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:taf:jmkthe:v:27:y:2017:i:2:p:290-308